Four Winds Rule Collection Chinese Old Style

5. Scoring

5.1 Displaying the hands

The modern Chinese rules allow payments to the winner only: there are no payments between the losers. Accordingly, only the winner must display his hand after a deal is over.

The winner is responsible of arranging his hand in a way that makes it clear which sets it is composed of, melded sets placed above the sets in the hand. The winner should mark the winning tile by placing it at right angles to the others (or slightly apart from the rest of the hand).

If a concealed portion of the hand can be arranged in more than one way, a player is free to arrange it in a way that results in the best scores. E.g., if a player is calling with Bamboo 2-2-3-3-4 and any pair, and the winning tile is Bamboo 4 (either self-drawn or discard), a player is free to arrange his hand so that the winning tile is considered to complete a Pung of Bamboo 2, rather than a Chow 2-3-4 (both arrangements are possible but the previous would pay 2 extra faan if the remaining two sets were triplets, as well).

5.2 Calculating the value of hands

In modern Chinese Mah Jong the only scoring unit is faan (a regulated multiplier, instead of a double, which is always applied linearly) the point unit is abandoned. Accordingly the scoring is performed by first summing up the faans earned by different patterns found in the hand, and then using a specific settling table to determine the final point score of the hand.

5.2.1 Faans for the winner

The winner receives faans for the following basic sets:

Set Score 

Pung of Dragons
1 faan

Kong of Dragons
1 faan

Pung of player’s Own Wind
1 faan

Kong of player’s Own Wind
1 faan

Pung of the Wind of the Round
1 faan

Kong of the Wind of the Round
1 faan

If Flowers and Seasons are used, the winner receives bonus faans for the following Flowers and Seasons:

Pattern Score
Flower of own Wind 1 faan
Season of own Wind 1 faan
All Flowers 2 faan
All Seasons 2 faan
No Flowers or Seasons 1 faan

In addition, the winner receives faans for the following hands:

Pattern Score
Green DragonGreen DragonGreen Dragon White DragonWhite DragonWhite Dragon Red DragonRed Dragon
Little Three Dragons (jap. sho san gen)
Note: Implies scores for Dragons. Some rules do not specify scoring for Little Three Dragons.
4 faan
Bamboo 1Bamboo 2Bamboo 3 Character 4Character 5Character 6 Dot 2Dot 3Dot 4 Dot 5Dot 6Dot 7 Character 9Character 9
Chow hand
(a regular hand with no Pungs or Kongs)
Note: The hand may contain no traditional scoring pairs (i.e., the pair must not be of player's own Wind or Wind of the Round).
1 faan
Bamboo 2Bamboo 2Bamboo 2 Character 5Character 5Character 5 Dot 2Dot 2Dot 2 Red DragonRed DragonRed Dragon Character 9Character 9
Pung hand
(a regular hand with no Chows) (Jap. toi toi ho)
2 faan
Dot 1Dot 2Dot 3 Dot 5Dot 5Dot 5 Dot 7Dot 8Dot 9 Green DragonGreen DragonGreen Dragon East WindEast Wind
One suit and Honors (Mixed hand, Ch. hon ii so, Jap. hon itsu)
2 faan
Dot 1Dot 2Dot 3 Dot 2Dot 3Dot 4 Dot 5Dot 5Dot 5 Dot 7Dot 8Dot 9 Dot 1Dot 1
One suit only (Clear hand, Ch. chin ii so, Jap. chin itsu)
4 faan

Note: Some players give only 1 faan for a Pung hand. On the other hand, a common alternative for scoring for a Pung hand and One suit and Honors is 3 faans, and for One suit only 6 faans (variation in scoring is understandable as the final score is determined by a settling table, and several different settling tables are used in modern Chinese Mah Jong for details, see Payments).

Finally, the winner can earn bonus faans for the following special ways of going out:

Pattern Score
Self-drawn last tile (ch. tsuu mo ho, jap. tsumo, tsumo ru) 1 faan
Out on the last tile of the Wall (ch. hai tei rao yue, jap. haite)
Note: Does not imply scores for Self-drawn last tile.
1 faan
Out on the last discard (no tiles left in the Wall) (ch. ho tei rao yui, jap. hote)
Note: Some rules do not specify scoring for going out on the last discard.
1 faan
Out on a supplement tile (ch., jap. rin shan kai ho) 1 faan
Out by robbing a Kong (ch., jap. chan kan)
Note: Robbing a Kong is considered going out on a claimed tile (and the player declaring the Kong is considered a discarder). Accordingly, a Kong robber can get extra points for Out on the last discard.
1 faan
5.2.2 Limit hands

In addition, the winner can get directly the limit points or few extra faans for the following special hands (note that % of Limit values are exclusive so no other points are added):

Limit or Special Hand Description Score
Hidden Treasure (Buried Treasure) Bamboo 1Bamboo 1Bamboo 1 Character 3Character 3Character 3 Character 7Character 7Character 7 Dot 3Dot 3Dot 3 Dot 8Dot 8
Four concealed triplets and a pair.
Note: The hand must go out fully concealed (including the winning tile), and it may not contain any Kongs (not even concealed ones).
400% of Limit
Three Great Scholars (Big Three Dragons) Red DragonRed DragonRed Dragon White DragonWhite DragonWhite Dragon Green DragonGreen DragonGreen Dragon Character 4Character 5Character 6 Dot 4Dot 4
Pung or Kong with all three Dragons, any Chow, Pung or Kong, and any pair. May all be melded.
400% of Limit
Little Four Winds (Little Four Joys) Bamboo 1Bamboo 2Bamboo 3 East WindEast WindEast Wind South WindSouth WindSouth Wind West WindWest WindWest Wind Notrh WindNotrh Wind
Pung or Kong of three Winds, a pair of the fourth, and any other set completing the hand. May be all melded.
400% of Limit
Big Four Winds (Big Four Joys, Four Big Blessings) East WindEast WindEast Wind South WindSouth WindSouth Wind West WindWest WindWest Wind Notrh WindNotrh WindNotrh Wind Dot 3Dot 3
Pung or Kong of each Wind, and any pair. May all be melded.
400% of Limit
All Honors (All Symbols) Red DragonRed DragonRed Dragon White DragonWhite DragonWhite Dragon East WindEast WindEast Wind West WindWest WindWest Wind Notrh WindNotrh Wind
Four Pungs or Kongs and a pair of Dragons and Winds. May all be melded.
400 % of Limit
All Terminals (Heads and Tails) Character 1Character 1Character 1 Character 9Character 9Character 9 Bamboo 1Bamboo 1Bamboo 1 Dot 1Dot 1Dot 1 Dot 9Dot 9
Four Pungs or Kongs and a pair of 1’s or 9’s. May all be melded.
400% of Limit
Nine Gates (Nine United Sons, Nine Sacred Lamps of Lotus) Bamboo 1Bamboo 1Bamboo 1 Bamboo 2Bamboo 3Bamboo 4Bamboo 5Bamboo 6Bamboo 7Bamboo 8Bamboo 9Bamboo 9Bamboo 9 Bamboo 3
Three 1’s, a sequence of 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and three 9’s, all of the same suit, and any other tile of the same suit completing the hand. The hand must be concealed (the winning tile can be a discard). No Kongs are allowed in this hand.
Note: This hand is traditionally considered the most perfect hand possible. This is a regular hand which can go out on any of the nine suit tiles.
400% of Limit
Thirteen Orphans (Thirteen Unique Wonders, Thirteen Grades of Imperial Treasure) Bamboo 1Bamboo 9 Character 1Character 9 Dot 1Dot 9 White DragonGreen DragonRed DragonRed Dragon East WindSouth WindWest Wind Notrh Wind  
One of each Dragon and Wind, 1 and 9 of each suit and 14th tile forming a pair with any of these. The hand must be concealed (the winning tile can be a discard).
Note: The rules allow a player to rob a concealed Kong to complete this hand.
400% of Limit
Heavenly Hand East declares ‘Out’ with the dealt hand (after supplement tiles, if any) 400% of Limit
Earthly Hand Non-dealer goes out on dealer’s first discard. 400% of Limit
Kong on Kong Player goes out on the supplement tile received after the second declaration of Kong on the same turn. 4 faan

Note: It is more common to specify scoring for limit hands in terms of laaks (e.g., 3 laaks means that the Limit is doubled twice, which is the same as 400% of the Limit). Also, many players specify scoring for all patterns, including the so called "limit hands" in faans, in which case scores for other patterns are not ignored. The result is often the same, disregarding the used method: a hand scores the maximum points specified by the settling table (using the % of Limit or laak unit is just simpler as there is no need to count scores for other patterns or consult the settling table).

5.3 Calculating the total score

The modern Chinese Mah Jong uses a faan-laak scoring system, according to which the final score of the hand is determined by first adding up the faans for the composing parts of the hand and then checking the final point score by using a look-up table. E.g., let us assume that the winner is North on the South round and that he goes out on the following hand (claiming the East wind from East):

Character 5Character 5Character 5 Red DragonRed DragonRed DragonRed Dragon

Bamboo 2Bamboo 2Bamboo 2  Dot 1Dot 1Dot 1 East      East

The winner gets the following faans for his hand:

1 faan Kong of Dragons
2 faan Pung hand

8 pts Final score (looked from the settling table, see below)
Figure 3. A settling table to determine the final score based on a certain amount of faans. The Limit is set to 16 points. The first laak (Limit) is paid for hands worth 4 to 6 faans, the second Laak (the Limit doubled once, resulting in 32 points) for hands worth 7 to 9 faans, and the third laak (the Limit doubled twice, resulting in 64 points) for hands worth 10 faans or more. The table is called "4-7-10 System" (the figures indicate the number of faans where the doubling of limits occurs.) Several other variations exist.
Faan Score Faan Score
0 1 7 32
1 2 8 32
2 4 9 32
3 8 10 64
4 16
5 16
6 16
5.4 Limit

In games where the final score is specified using a settling table, the limit is used as a unit to specify the final scores. In the rules described here the Limit is 16 points, but the actual highest final score is specified by a settling table according to which a hand worth 10 faans or more pays 64 points (i.e., 3 laaks, meaning the Limit doubled twice, or 400% of the Limit). Individual hands can bypass this value and specify scoring values even higher than this (e.g. 1600% of Limit).

It is important to understand that in this scoring system the Limit is not used as a point cutter but simply as a scoring unit.

Related topics:
Introduction
Tiles
Preliminaries
Playing
Miscellaneous
Payments